We started this gardening journey with putting our chickens in the garden to till it up, yet before even that we took you along with us as we built our chicken tractor, chickshaw, chicken thing. Then we had you with us as we built our soil block trays, showed you our soil blocking method and planted our seed. Its time to move those babies out to the garden and watch them grow! Join us this week as we move our basil out with the tomatoes. Soon we will be adding herbs for tea and for culinary use including chamomile, tarragon, lemon balm and more! Join us every step of the way as we share the happenings of the farm with you once a week on Youtube!
Thanks for being part of our farm family! Cheers!
Hello fellow tea drinkers and gardeners!
We had this big plan this winter. I'm afraid it was delayed. You see we love knowing where our food comes from. We like to know what kind of conditions it was grown in, who was growing it, what our money supports or rather who it is supporting. Is it going to big corporations or a small farmer and his family? Did our fruit come from Mexico, our beef from Australia?
Sometimes it is just hard to know. We do our best, within our means and with what resources we have. But sometimes its either not in the budget to buy local like we would like or some things just are not available! We decided to take our food into our own hands and grow as much as we can on our own farm and then to buy from other farms in the area and leave the large retailers as a last resort.
What does this have to do with tea? You see we want our family business to be inline with the rest of our lives. That means that the Farmer came home to work on the farm so that we can all live, work and school together. It also means that we aim to have the same values with blending tea as we try to have with the food we feed our family with.
First we grow it. If we can't grow it because of time, space, money ect then we seek out other local farms who can. Today we want to take you on that journey with us which brings us back to our big "winter plans". You see we want to SHOW you were your tea comes from! We want to tell you the story of each and every one of our teas.
Haskaps usually fruit in May but this year Oregon has had a very long wet spring and so our winter plans were delayed...
We invite you on our farm visit picking haskaps and the first in our series on showing you the story of the tea you drink and enjoy. So sit back, relax with a good cuppa and see the story of your tea. Thanks for dropping by the farm and we will see you next week!
Our farm is about to move up, we spent the week preparing for the arrival of these things above! Trusses for our tea studio have arrived! Our daily rotation of the sheep and goat continue as they clean up the brush in future gardening areas. We also found some other treasures in our brush. Check out this weeks video for all of the above!
Seed Panting season.... check. Packet of seeds.... check. Water.... check... soil to plant them in check....
How come it is that I plant ALL these seeds and only half of them come up. Now I have to replant. How come it is that I have to thin all these seeds that do come up and just toss them to the animals? What a waste.
Enter soil boxes and soil blocking. No more wasted seed, no more wondering if they are going to come up or not. Join us on our YouTube channel this week to learn how to mix soil blocking mix to use in your soil blocking trays we made last week. Elliot Coleman style. Who is he you ask? He is THE Organic gardener who has this growing thing down pat. He grows year around in Maine and has been for years, he makes a great living growing things in the snow. And his secret? Getting those seeds a good start. Lets get planting!
After a long long wet spring we finally have some sunshine down on the farm and we are loving every minute of it. Flowers have started to bloom, the greenhouse veggies are taking off and the berries have started forming. May surely brought the sunshine down to the farm!
In the BarnYard....
Its always fun having babies on the farm and equally as fun to see the farm children enjoy them so much. They get to experience so much daily on the farm, run all over on different surfaces and see so many different things. They don't miss out on real life down on the farm.
The chicken's finished their till job in this years garden and are temporarily moved into the pasture area to clean up after the sheep and the goat. Were battling with some parasite issues so between rotation, the chicken clean up crew and an herbal dewormer we are hoping we are good to go!
This is our summer/fall garden area, the chickens have rotated 2-3 times cleaning up all the grass and weeds, fertilizing the ground and scratching it up. Its time to get it tilled, tarped and then planted!
Dodge Ram is growing well but he still has a bum leg in the front. We aren't sure he is going to make it but that doesn't stop him from enjoying the lush green grass. He is such a sweet little guy!
Hey Ewe is getting her share of the green pasture for sure! Look at those sides stick out!
We have kittens on the farm again! They are always so much fun, and quite the distraction. Two of the farm children have the cats named after airplane models and pieces of building construction. They get crazy like that sometimes ;) I call this cat Moo, doesn't he look like a cow?
It was almost impossible to get all five kittens looking at a camera, the sweet fluffy bunch of kittens was too much. And all so different looking!
Sorry for the blurry photo, my photographer was a little excited and couldn't hold still! A handful of fluff!
In the Greenhouse ...
Spring crops are in the ground almost ready to harvest which means its time to plant summer starts! Tomatoes, peppers, summer and winter squash, basil, you name it! If you haven't seen our soil blocking tray video check it out here!
The grass is mowed and the greenhouse is looking good! Life is good down on the farm :)
Inside the poly tunnel, greenhouse, hoop house indoor plant growing thing a ma jig :)
Pea flowers are so beautiful!
The peas are reaching higher and getting close to the top of the greenhouse!
Radish crop number 3 coming up and looking ready to thin out.
Baby peas are growing up fast!
Tomatoes are coming up and so are a lot of other seeds, not long now until we are in full gardening mode.
Oh basil how I love thee, I could eat pesto three time a day! I might get to with the three kinds of basil we planted and our new garden space. Hopefully I'm able to dry some for #ProjectFillTheSpiceCupboard
More seed starting trays! Were going big this year adding lots of herbs for tea and getting ready to store our new larder under the tea studio.
It isn't broccoli..... its kale going to seed and flowering. So pretty and it seeds so well!
The Lemon Balm is slow but its coming up and will be great to have for our High Desert Hibiscus tea, we are so excited to be adding more herbs to the farm so we can keep it fresh and local!
ARound the Farm...
The Lady's love the Oregano plants! Is it true that you can tell their age by how many spots they have? If so this one looks to be 6 years old or so.
He is faking! Our new morning habit is to rush out after prayers and cut blackberry leaf for the dehydrator! It is growing faster than we can cut and our Oregon Harvest Berry Tea that it goes in is selling almost faster than we can dry it!
With the sun out that means its time to make SUN TEA!!!! I love this summer time tradition, its one I grew up with and plan to keep though we have shaped the Lipton out for some High Desert Hibiscus.
The lavender plants are starting to bloom, this is my favorite time of year, so many beautiful flowers and I love harvesting these. The smell is so peaceful and relaxing! We feature this in our Rose City Repose and Cascade Earl Grey teas.
Purple belled flowers hanging from our wild comfrey plants! We weed around this letting it grow big and strong. It makes great chicken and lamb food, its roots go deep into the soil helping to bring nutrients up and its a great medicinal plant to have around.
More lavender beauty!
The rhododendrons are blooming, they are one... maybe the only plant we have that isn't edible or medicinal.
Our tiny blueberry plants are loaded with berries this year! If the birds don't take them all we may get our first small harvest!
The haskaps are starting to ripen up! They are determined to make their normal May fruiting season. They just squeaked by this year though with the cold wet spring we have had!
Not only are the haskaps turning color but they are huge this year, all the extra rain we had made the plants grow like crazy!
A "weed" but beautiful non the less!
Pardon the deck mess as we are under construction but our grapes and hops are doing wonderful this year. It should be an excellent year for both!
Its time to harvest spearmint for our High Desert Hibiscus! There is quite the abundance of it this year!
The Tea Studio...
The tea studio has walls! What is a tea studio you say? Its a spin off of an art studio.. where one creates art. This will be where we create our artisan loose leaf teas! Currently all of our teas are hand blended in the farm kitchen between nap time, at night time ect. This space will allow us to blend any time and help keep us organized as well as able to produce more tea.
The interior walls being jacked up, quite a scary process to watch but better than carrying board up ladder to build the walls.
The last wall is going up!
The front view looks kind of silly at the moment without the windows cut out or roof on but that will be taken care of shortly!
In the Farm Kitchen...
My farm kitchen pictures seem to be limited this month. With the sun out we spend more and more of our day outside and less in the kitchen. This lovely meal is a weekly favorite, moroccan chicken with baked carrots and onions!
A salad from our yard! Beet greens, kale, spinach, chard, french radish, peas, hard boiled eggs, chives with beautiful flowers and cilantro. Its always a celebration when the first salad comes entirely from the garden!
In the Farm Store...
Sporting my orange as we join the Salem Etsy team at a local craft event!
All of those blackberries above? They were for this! A shipment going to Tea Box Express for their June tea box!
We are in full market swing and enjoying every bit. We do a taste testing of three different teas every week so if you are in or around Salem, OR on a Saturday stop by between 9 am and 3 pm! Check out our market specials including discounts on full size bags and tea by the cup!
We were so excited to barter tea with a tea farm in Maine that grows local wild maine blueberries and chaga. These teas are fantastic and we are enjoying them very much! Thanks for stopping by the farm this month and we will see you next time!
Bachelor Buttons. Chamomile. Green Beans. Squash. Basil. Lots of Basil.
There is so much going on in our green house that I ran out of seed trays to start our garden seeds. Our garden space has been tilled and weeded by the chickens and is waiting the machine till to straighten it out before we start planting, amending and mulching. Gardening season is truly here and even more so this year down on our farm! We have started expanding the herbs that we grow so that we can bring you even fresher tea and more local tea than we have been the last three years.
You too can grow your own food and tea! We would love to help! This weeks video is on how to make your own seed planting trays. These guys save you on money for so many reason!
#1 They are reusable
#2 They old up better than the black plastic ones
#3 You use less seed because you don't have to thin out plants when you use this method.
Check out the video and we will have an additional one on how to do the soil blocking early next week. Have a fantastic weekend and keep on growing!
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.